Editorial: Pit Bulls Should Not Be Banned

Jessica Wang, Reporter

Pit bulls are taken away, euthanized, or locked in a pound on a daily basis in cities that ban pit bulls and enforce breed-specific legislation. One in four of all animals brought into shelters are pit bulls. Along with that, their disturbing euthanasia rate is 93%

Pit bulls should not be banned in any areas.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), there is no scientific evidence that breed bans are effective, but pit bulls are still restricted in more than 937 cities. Breed-specific legislation started to appear in various cities due to a proliferation of myths, irresponsible owners, and sensationalist news stories. Breed-specific legislation only treats the result instead of the cause, making it ineffective. 

Contrary to popular belief, pit bulls were not born to fight. Because of their strong appearance, we found a way to exploit their behaviors, and started to use them for dog fighting. They were trained to act viciously to fulfill our unnecessary wishes of entertainment and profit. As a result, they became a symbol of violence and criminal activity. Pit bulls are not inherently dangerous, but just like any other dog, they can become aggressive with abuse, neglect, and a lack of socialization. 

According to the American Temperament Test Society, American Pit Bull Terriers, the most popular breed used in dog fights, have a higher than average temperament of 87.4%. Even one of America’s favorite breeds, the Golden Retriever, scored lower than the Pit Bull Terrier, with a score of 85.6%.

A study conducted on fatalities from pit bulls between 2000-2009 in the journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found that in over 80% of deaths, there were four or more significant factors related to the care and control of the dog. These were dogs that had not been socialized and had no relationship to the person who was killed. Similar to humans, pit bulls should not be stereotyped. For example, someone could trip over a Corgi and hurt themselves, but that doesn’t make them dangerous. 

Breed-specific legislation has led to innocent, kindhearted dogs dying in shelters. This includes dogs that are seized from loving families, as well as dogs who never get adopted in the first place due to being illegal in communities. These laws have become destroyers of families in our world, and we need to put an end to that. Breed bans are a simplistic and inadequate answer to a far more complex social problem in modern society. Learn more about how you can help to end breed-specific laws by visiting the American Farm Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing advocacy for pit bulls.